Edinburgh Recovery Activities (2020) Letters from Lockdown, PDF available from Concept website
A lot has been written about the impact of Covid19 but much of it relies on a ‘stock of ready narratives’ (Kehily, 1995 p. 28) that we draw on when we are telling stories about our lives. We both forge our individual narratives and take part in public narratives where the themes to be drawn on, the facts and circumstances that are considered important and the information that advances the story, can form an ideological straitjacket within which we conform. This means that the majority of narratives about the impact of the Covid19 pandemic emphasise the individual and not the structures within which we are embedded. The stories told are about how individual behaviour - mixing in crowds, not wearing masks, failing to socially distance - causes the spread of the virus but the alternative narrative - that living in poverty in poor housing increases the likelihood of catching the virus - is supressed. In my view, the great strength of this short collection is that the authors have broken out of this straitjacket and told stories that create new narratives about the experiences of lockdown that are not focused on individual behaviour alone.
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